Austin: Sebastian Vettel secured pole position for the US Grand Prix, putting him in the perfect spot to chase his third consecutive Formula One championship.
Driving on the new USD 400 million Circuit of the Americas, Vettel dominated three practice sessions before securing the pole on Saturday with a blistering round of qualifying. Vettel's fastest lap for Red Bull was 1 minute, 35.657 seconds.
Ferrari's Fernando Alonso was a distant ninth in qualifying, 1.643 seconds slower than Vettel. Alonso trails Vettel by 10 points in the drivers' championship.
If Vettel wins on Sunday, Alonso must finish no worse than fourth to force the championship title race to the final race of the season next week in Brazil.
Sunday's race will be F1's first in the US since 2007.